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Subject: rec.pets.dogs: Basset Hounds Breed-FAQ
This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:22:25 GMT
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 25 Jan 2001
There are many FAQ's available for this group. For a complete
listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article
is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp
to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via
the Web at http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/lists/faq-list.html, or
via email by sending your message to email@example.com with
in the body of the message.
This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below.
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s).
This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other
documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.
This FAQ was compiled by Judy Trenck (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the help
of Judi Kinnear and Mary Louise Chipman. Sources for this FAQ include
but are not limited to the following:
* Handout "All About the Basset Hound", a pamphlet distributed by
the Potomac Basset Hound Club Inc. (original source - Basset Hound
Club of America, Inc.)
* Section from a book on Breed Specific health problems. Basset
Hound information was written by Margaret W. Walton & Calvin Moon
* Article on paneosteitis that appeared in the Bugler and was
written by Marge Skolnik.
* Letter and Grant Proposal, "Clinical and Radiographic Evaluation
of Immature Basset Hounds with Forelimb Lameness" from M. Joy
Weinstein, V.M.D., Assistant Professor, Surgery Section,
Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
* AKC Dog Book
* BHCA Membership Directory
If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments you'd like to make
regarding this FAQ, you can email Judy Trenck at email@example.com.
* Some dated reference updates and additions by David L.
* Noses-L information updated by CTM, 9/95
* Online resources added by CTM, 10/95
* Online resources updated, 11/95, CTM
* Added Basset mailing list, 12/95, CTM
* Added email contact point, and updated addresses, 7/96, CTM
* Updated online resources & links, 11/96, CTM
* Assorted minor corrections, 2/98, CTM
This file is Copyright 1995 by Judy Trenck.
Table of Contents
* What was the Basset Hound's original purpose?
* Does the Basset Hound make a good pet?
* How big is the adult Basset Hound and how should they look?
* What is the Basset Hound's temperament?
* Do Bassets have any strange habits?
* How much does a Basset Hound eat?
* Are Basset Hounds healthy dogs?
* How much does a Basset Hound cost?
* What can I expect in my older Basset?
* Are Bassets hard to breed?
* Are Bassets hard to housetrain?
* Can the Basset Hound swim?
* What about colors? Are red and whites rare, therefore worth more?
What about the "blue" Basset?
* Are there Basset Hound rescue organizations?
* Are there any "email" lists on Internet for Bassets?
* What other online resources are there?
* What is the AKC Basset Hound breed standard?
* Where can I find out more about Basset Hounds, breeders, and
+ National Club (USA)
+ Local Basset Hound Breed Clubs
+ Canadian Basset Hound Clubs
+ Magazines on Bassets
What was the Basset Hound's original purpose?
Basset Hounds are descended from the old St. Hubert hounds. Used to
trail and drive game away, the Basset has had such famous admirers as
King Edward VII and Shakespeare. The Basset was bred for hunting small
game. The Basset's long ears were developed to stir up and hold the
scent for their strong nose to smell. The folds of skin under the
chin, called the dewlap, help trap and hold the scent. Wrinkles about
the head and face also aid in holding the scent. Their large feet make
them steady and the heavy bones make them sturdy. With their short
legs they are ideal for slow trailing which allows hunters to follow
on foot. The Basset is used primarily to hunt rabbit although they
were first used on other small game such as pheasant.
Does the Basset Hound make a good pet?
YES! The Basset Hound is one of the best dogs available for a family
to love. They are extremely tolerant and love everyone in the family
equally. They are a very gentle, sweet, loyal and affectionate breed,
although they are quite stubborn at times. They get along well with
other pets of various species. They are not an aggressive watchdog but
will learn to give a deep bark as a warning if praised when sounding
off. Otherwise, they will accept visitors with a sniff and return to a
favorite corner. The Basset Hound is a versatile pet who will play
with children, make a skilled hunter, and sit by their owner's side
during quiet times.
How big is the adult Basset Hound and how should they look?
The male Basset Hound at maturity usually weighs between 55 and 75
pounds, and stands 12-, to not more than 15-inches tall at the
shoulder. They are a big dog on short legs. The female is usually
about 10 pounds lighter and 1-inch or so shorter than the male. Make
no mistake, the Basset grows to be a good size dog, weighing more than
most people expect, due to his heavy bone. As a young dog they need a
consistent, firm, (but not harsh) hand so they will learn not to jump
on people. They are not lap dogs, even though they may think so. The
Basset has a large, well proportioned head, sad, droopy eyes with a
prominent haw; and long, low-set ears and loose facial skin and
dewlap. A muscular neck and shoulders arch above a powerful chest, and
the stubby legs are tipped with huge paws. His low-slung,
loose-skinned, body is accented by a tail carried gaily in an upswept
What is the Basset Hound's temperament?
Basset Hounds have gentle dispositions. They were bred to be pack dogs
and to get along with each other. This makes the male as friendly,
mild, and easy to live with as the female. Males are not as aggressive
as some other breeds of dogs, and they are usually not as prone to
"marking" their territory unless there is an unneutered male around.
Do Bassets have any strange habits?
Some Basset Hounds have a tendency to howl when left alone for long
periods of time. They will also wander away from home if not kept in a
(securely locked) fenced area. The Basset is so good with kids, and
often found in homes with children, great care MUST be taken to assure
that gates cannot accidentally be left open when the kids enter and
leave the fenced area. When a good scent reaches their nose, there is
no telling where they will end up, and unfortunately, the Basset is
not good at finding the way home. A responsible owner keeps his Basset
as safe from harm as he would any other cherished pet.
A Basset with its large deep flews also tends to be more slobbery than
other breeds. Some individual Bassets are "drier mouthed" than others,
but as a whole the breed is a "wet mouthed" breed. To the prospective
Basset owner, this means that that the dog will drool quite a bit, and
tend to make a mess while drinking. If you are a fastidious
housekeeper, and have an aversion to dog drool on your floors (and
occasionally your walls), then the Basset Hound is probably not the
breed for you. This is an important point, because one of the major
reasons that Bassets are given up for rescue or adoption is that "the
dog drools too much". Time and again those involved in Basset rescue
hear this same old story. So get out your slobber rag if you want a
How much does a Basset Hound eat?
Adult Basset Hounds generally eat between 2 and 4 cups of food per
day. (Many dog food labels have you over-feeding your dogs.) Bassets
often have a tendency to get fat, partly because their sad look lends
their owners to "take pity on them" and give them more food than they
require. Overeating is dangerous to all dogs. Puppies, depending on
their age, will eat from two to four meals per day in proportion to
their size. You should avoid feeding your Basset fad foods; feed a
well-balanced, name brand dry food supplemented with a quality canned
food and/or other supplements. Many canine nutrition experts feel that
vitamin supplements are not needed when using a top quality name-brand
dog food. If a vitamin is used, care must be takne to avoid
over-supplementing. Check with your veterinarian to see what is best
for your dog. Store or generic brand dogs foods should not be used. A
pregnant female Basset gradually requires more food and a supplement
as recommended by your veterinarian.
Are Basset Hounds hard to groom?
The Basset Hound does not need fussy coat care due to his hard, short
coat which repels dirt and water rather well. However, they should be
brushed weekly to remove any loose hair and dirt. Bassets do not shed
very much if brushed regularly. The Basset Hound needs a bath only
four to six times a year because a good rubdown with a coarse cloth or
a hounds glove will remove a great deal of dirt and bring a shine to
Regular grooming helps create a bond between owner and pet. Wipe out
the insides of the ears once a week. The Basset's heavy ear leather
prevents loss of moisture from inside the ear, and, if it is not
cleaned out with a cotton ball and a solution recommended by your
veterinarian, odor and/or infection can result. Clean the outside of
the ears also because they often drape in food and water dishes and
pick up dirt from the ground. Trim the nails every 1-3 weeks to allow
the dog to walk correctly on his feet and properly support his heavy
weight. Puppies need more frequent clipping than the adult. Should you
hear the nails clicking on the floor, they need to be cut. Have your
veterinarian or breeder show you how to properly clip your dog's
nails. Clean your Basset's teeth with a soft toothbrush and
water/doggie toothpaste to prevent plaque buildup. You may want the
veterinarian to show you the proper procedure for anal gland care as
another means of keeping your dog odor-free and comfortable.
Are Basset Hounds healthy dogs?
The Basset Hound claims excellent health. He is not prone to many
hereditary weaknesses that are present in some other breeds. Many of
the Basset's health problems can be attributed to his owner because he
allowed his dog to become overweight, possibly resulting in aggravated
arthritis, back problems, or heart trouble. Physical fitness is as
important to the Basset as it is to humans. The Basset Hound enjoys
running and leading an active life. Dogs raised in areas of the
country where they can participate in the popular sport of field
trialing can enjoy particularly good health. The Basset is an
All breeds can carry genetic disorders or hereditary faults. The
following list includes some of the problems that can develop in
Von Willebrand's Disease
A hereditary disorder appearing in some Bassets is Von Willebrand's
disease, a platelet disorder resulting in mild to moderately severe
bleeding and a prolonged bleeding time. Careful pedigree analysis and
blood testing have reduced the incidence of this disease by reputable
The Basset is one of the breeds predisposed to glaucoma.
Like many other breeds with a deep chest, the Basset is susceptible to
gastric dilatation with torsion of the stomach (bloat). This can be a
problem regardless of age. Torsion or bloat is considered an emergency
and action must be taken immediately.
Paneosteitis is an elusive ailment occasionally seen in young Bassets.
It is also known as wandering or transient lameness. Attacks are
usually brought on by stress and aggravated by activity, and up to
now, the cause and the cure are unknown. This mysterious disease
causes sudden lameness, but its greatest potential danger may lie in
false diagnosis, resulting in unnecessary surgery. A puppy will
typically outgrow it by the age of two with no long term problems. It
can be quite minor, or so bad that the dog will not put any weight on
the leg. Symptoms may be confused with "elbow displasia", "hip
displasia", "patellar luxation" and other more serious disorders. The
most definite way to diagnose paneosteitis is radiographically. Even
with this, signs can be quite minimal and easily missed. As to
treatment, no cure was found in experimental tests and the only
helpful thing found was relief for pain (aspirin, cortisone, etc.)
However, using these, the dog tends to exercise more and thereby
aggravate the condition. Note again: A GREAT MANY VETS ARE UNAWARE OF
THIS DISEASE IN THE BASSET.
In diagnosing the cause of a Basset's lameness, a radiograph of the
forelimbs may indicate a condition called elbow incongruity. (Elbow
incongruity is a poor fit between the 3 bones which comprise the elbow
joint.) Studies to date indicate that elbow incongruity is normal in
the Basset and is not the cause of the lameness. It is also suspected
that many of the previously mentioned unnecessary (panosteitis)
surgeries have been performed on Basset Pups just because radiographs
that were taken showed elbow incongruity. A study on forelimb lameness
in the Basset is currently underway at the School of Veterinary
Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. As previously mentioned they
have determined that elbow incongruity occurs in the Basset but
suspect that incongruity rarely causes the lameness. During the course
of the study, conservative therapy will be recommended for all cases
in which panosteitis appears to be the cause of the lameness. In cases
with severe growth deformities or elbow pain associated with elbow
incongruity, surgery may be recommended. If your Basset develops
lameness and is diagnosed with an "elbow problem", discuss with your
veterinarian the possibility of panosteitis.
Some Bassets may have allergies to grasses. Hanging t heir head close
to the ground for long periods of time will further aggravate it. If
an allergy is diagnosed, a veterinarian can prescribe a mild eye
ointment or other appropriate treatment.
The long drooping ear predisposes the Basset to otitis externa,
(smelly yucky ears). This is easily prevented if ear cleaning is done
regularly,such as when nails are clipped. Check with your veterinarian
for an ear wash, or make a preventative cleaning mix of 50% isopropyl
alcohol and 50% white vinegar.
Due to the Basset's large paws, they are prone to interdigital cysts,
abscesses and fungus infections between the digits (toes).
As a puppy, the Basset should never be given too much exercise because
of the heavy boned front. Care must also be taken to protect the front
when jumping off anything, stairs, tables, etc.
How much does a Basset Hound cost?
A purebred, pet quality Basset Hound puppy from a reputable breeder
may cost between $350-$700, depending on the part of the country. The
price for a puppy with show (or breeding) potential will start
appreciably higher. Prices of individual puppys vary according to
quality (show or field potential), age, geographic region, and
availability. The puppy should have been checked by a veterinarian and
given appropriate inoculations based on its age. Inoculations for
rabies, distemper, leptospirosis, hepatitis, kennel cough, and
parvovirus are all necessary. A conscientious breeder will have a
complete record of all puppy illnesses, tretements, and inoculations.
Beware of a breeder who sells a puppy without all the necessary shots
or proper AKC registration information. Also beware of the breeder
that wants to sell a puppy prior to 8 weeks. In many areas it is
against the law to sell or transport a puppy younger than this age.
Pet stores tend to change the highest prices for puppies. The source
of these puppies is usually a puppy mill, whose sole motive is
breeding for profit, not temperament, type, or health. Buyer Beware!
What can I expect in my older Basset?
Given good care, the Basset can lead a very active 10 years and be
active as a stud dog up to 12 years. (AKC will not register puppies
sired by a dog over 12 years of age without written permission of AKC
and certification from a veterinarian.) Bassets enjoy their food in
old age and, if allowed, become fat and lazy. The Basset is an easy
keeper and a steady hound and usually lives 8 to 12 years, although
there are many that live beyond, to 14,15,16 or even up to 17 years.
Are Bassets hard to breed?
YES! Once determining that your dog of bitch is worthy of being bred
(be sure to read the breeding FAQs) the owner of the dog must be
prepared to provide the following.
* A safe, secure, clean area to keep the visiting bitch to be bred
(the bitch always goes to the dog). Can you provide this?
* Bassets do not "free" breed and need to be personally handled/
supervised throughout the entire act of breeding. Are you willing
to do this? Two Bassets left together is a room will only result
in two tired, frustrated, unbred dogs.
* Your male will probably start "marking" (peeing) his territory in
your home. :-(
* Your male may become more aggressive perhaps to you, and your
REMEMBER: If you have never had ice cream, you will never miss it.
SPAY and/or NEUTER.
Are Bassets hard to housetrain?
No harder than any other breed, you MUST be consistent.
Can the Basset Hound swim?
Only with a great deal of difficulty. With 2/3 of the Basset's weight
in the front, and with such short legs, they can swim only very short
distances, and with great difficulty. If you must go boating with a
Basset be certain, you have provided a life preserver for him or other
suitable floatation device. Extra care must be taken around swimming
pools, and the Basset should never be left, unsupervised in a pool
area. Should your Basset be prone to falling in, get him to swim to
the stairs, so that he will learn the way out.
What about colors? Are red and whites rare, therefore worth more? What about
the "blue" Basset?
HA, HA, HA, - Only to the uninformed. The value of a Basset should not
be based on its color or markings. The tri-color is the most common,
followed by the red & white. Tri's at times can appear to be black and
white, but on closer inspection, a touch of brown usually can be
found. Red & whites can be almost completely white with just a few
spots of tan, or they can be a deep mahogany color with only a small
amount of white. Most come somewhere in between. There are also lemon
& whites. A true lemon is rarely seen. Their markings are mostly white
that fades into areas of very, very light tan. To tell if it is a true
lemon, the puppy, at birth is totally white with no hint of tan. The
light tan color develops as they mature. It should also be noted that
the color and coverage of the marking of the puppy you get at 10-12
weeks will change as they mature. Every once in a while, you will hear
of someone advertising the "rare" blue Basset (actually it is gray).
The standard states "any recognizable hound color is acceptable", and
blue is a recognized color in some other hound breeds, so it's not
illegal - but it is VERY undesirable. It is a recessive trait
resulting in genetically inherited disorders associated with this
color, i.e. periscoping intestines, skin allergies and food allergies.
Be wary of breeders selling these "blue" bassets. A reputable breeder
would not involve themselves in purposely breeding inferior quality.
Are there Basset Hound rescue organizations?
There are many local Basset Hound rescue groups, check the Rescue
FAQs, part 1, or if you do not find one in your area contact:
B. H. CARES, Inc.
Greg Gilbert, Chairman: 1865 Bairds Cove, Charleston, SC 29414;
Additional Basset Rescue organizations in the United States can be
found on the Daily Drool web page. Included in this list are BHCare
chapters, and other Basset rescue organizations that are not chapters.
Are there any "E-mail" lists on the Internet for Bassets?
BASSET-L is an email list for the Basset fancier. To join the list,
send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body of the
message, include the single line:
subscribe BASSET-L yourfirstname yourlastname
There is also NOSES-L for the general scent hound fancier. To join the
list, send email to email@example.com. In the body of the
message, include the single line:
subscribe NOSES-L yourfirstname yourlastname
Daily Drool is a smaller list for Basset Owners. Membership is
limited, so you may have to wait to get on. To subscribe, use the
What other online resources are there?
Check the following web pages:
The Basset Hound Club of America, kept by BHCA.
Cyberhound!, kept by H. Nadelman, former webmaster for BHCA.
What is the AKC Basset Hound breed standard?
A standard is a written picture of the ideal dog in any breed approved
by the American Kennel Club. It describes the characteristics that set
one breed apart from the others.
The present Standard for Basset Hounds was accepted by the American
Kennel Club in early 1964. Revisions have been made, as recommended by
the Basset Hound Club of America, Inc., to clarify the old standard
and to make stronger the emphasis on the utility of the breed.
Where can I find out more about Basset Hounds, breeders, and breeding?
After making the decision to bring a Basset Hound into your home and
your heart, the next most important decision is where to get your dog.
If you prefer an adult, please check with the rescue groups that are
listed in the Rescue Section of this FAQ. Puppies should only be
purchased from reputable breeders. To locate a reputable breeder in
your area, contact the Basset Hound Club of America. They have a
listing by state of their members at http://www.basset-bhca.org/. You
may also contact the American Kennel club at http://www.akc.org/ for a
National Club (USA)
Corresponding Secretary: Janie Dozier, 13219 Holly Tree Lane, Poway CA
92064; 858-748-7081; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Basset Hound Club of America may also be reached by email at
Local Basset Hound Breed Clubs
To locate current Club Secretaries, contact Mimi Brandoline (above) or
the AKC at (212) 696-8200
Valle Del Sol BHC
Greater San Diego BHC
BHC of Sacramento
BHC of Southern California
Northern California BHC
South Florida BHC
BHC of Hawaii
Ft Dearborn BHC
BHC of Central Indiana
BHC of Greater New Orleans
BHC of Maryland, Inc
BHC of Greater Detroit
Looking Glass BHC
Western Michigan BHC
GTR Minneapolis St Paul BHC
Capital District BHC
Maumee Valley BHC
BHC of Tulsa
BHC of Portland OR, Inc
Emerald Empire BHC
BCH of Western PA
Berkshire Valley BHC
Rancocas Valley BHC
Valley Forge BHC
BHC of Greater Fort Worth
BHC of Greater Houston
BHC of Greater San Antonio
Dal-Tex BHC (Dallas, TX)
Highland Lakes BHA
Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C.
Potomac Basset Hound Club Inc
BHC of Greater Seattle
Canadian Basset Hound Clubs
Basset Hound Club of Canada
Dawn-Marie Adams, Secretary
105 Cove Crescent
Stoney Creek ON L8E 5A1
Membership information: $35 (Canadian) for Single, $40 for Family.
Membership Chair - Pat Nurse, email@example.com.
Basset Hound Club of British Columbia
Bonnie Tetlock, Secretary
Magazines on Bassets
PO Box 698
McMinnville TN 37110
(Monthly) 1 yr $15.00; First Class - $25.00 per yr; Canada & Mexico
$30.00; Airmail Overseas & SO. America $70.00 (rates as of July 1995)
Tally-Ho is the official publication of the Basset Hound Club of
America, it is sent to all members. The Tallyho is not available by
Recommended reading on the Basset Hound:
The Offical Book of the Basset Hound by Robert E. Booth, 1998
The Basset Hound Owner's Survival Guide by Diane Morgan, 1998.
The Basset Hound, An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet by Barbara
Basset Hounds, A Complete Pet Owner's Manual by Joe Stahlkuppe (1997).
The Complete Basset Hound ( or The New Complete Basset Hound) Try to
get the 1st edition - blue hard cover - no longer in print, but is
better than her second (yellow cover) book. by Mercedes Braun $16.95
These books may be purchased thru Doctors Foster & Smith (or any
Also see the Country Store section of the BHCA website for additional
publications from the BHCA. (www.basset-bhca.org)
The New Basset Hound by Walton $16.99
AKC Video, Breed Standard Series, The Basset Hound $35.00
(No longer in print) This is the Basset Hound by Ernest H. Hart
Basset Hounds FAQ
Email contact: Judy Trenck, firstname.lastname@example.org